Le Papillion
December 5, 2005 5:42 PM   Subscribe

le Papillon An beautifully animated quicktime short about filial dedication in a feudal japanese setting. via Drawn!
posted by boo_radley (22 comments total)
Nice idea, but it was a little sad to see the characters were computer animated after a nice little watercolour intro. Still, very accomplished and enjoyable.
posted by oxala at 5:59 PM on December 5, 2005

Nice. Always good to be reminded of cultures where one's ancestors are not just simply finally dead and gone gone gone.
posted by kozad at 6:28 PM on December 5, 2005

I'm not sure what you mean oxala. The textured background and watercolor theme seemed to carry on throughout the film. I thought it was well done.
posted by BarePaw at 6:29 PM on December 5, 2005

so economical----not a thing out of place. thanks!
posted by DenOfSizer at 6:55 PM on December 5, 2005

Economical, exactly. So clean, unselfconscious and poignant. What a delicate marriage of watercolor and animation. What a gift. Thank you, Boo.
posted by geoflaneur at 7:23 PM on December 5, 2005

I see dead samurai
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 7:32 PM on December 5, 2005

I didn't mind the Flash animation at all. I really liked the way he used the water color backgrounds. Great idea. Flash is sill in its childhood. We're still pushing it's limits, and I think we've got a ways to go.
posted by rougy at 7:43 PM on December 5, 2005

Always good to be reminded of cultures where one's ancestors roam the earth as ghosts, condoning killing killing killing.
posted by parallax7d at 7:55 PM on December 5, 2005


(for those who prefer direct link)
posted by dorian at 8:04 PM on December 5, 2005

The nice little watercolor intro was also computer generated, most likely. Reminds me of some stuff I'd done using Painter and a Wacom, back in the day.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:23 PM on December 5, 2005

I'm fairly confident that the entire short is hand-drawn animation. (The credits, while in french, do seem to mention 35mm film, although there is most certainly some digital compositing) Also, the backgrounds are most definitely actual watercolours. Are we this saturated with computer animation that we no longer believe something this good can be done by hand?
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:02 PM on December 5, 2005

It was produced in Toonz (press release); the competition page says "2D computer" techniques were used.
posted by dhartung at 9:51 PM on December 5, 2005

Thanks for the clarification and link, dhartung. I'm still confident that the backgrounds are real (Painter is good, but not that good yet) and that the animation itself was drawn frame by frame by a skilled hand (using a computer, fine, but by hand all the same -- watching it frame by frame confirms at least that much)
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:17 PM on December 5, 2005

Regardless of the actual technique, it's a lovely, lovely short film. Thank you for posting it, boo_radley.
posted by Malor at 1:37 AM on December 6, 2005

Among other things, I love the way the girl's hair slips and falls around her shoulders. This artist is — or these artists are — sumptuously observant.
posted by Haruspex at 3:35 AM on December 6, 2005

An excellent post. I pour my thanks upon you, boo_radley. This short film, with the beautiful watercolour and sepia quality was an inspiration. For anyone who speaks any Japanese, I can only say-

posted by malusmoriendumest at 4:09 AM on December 6, 2005

Beautifully done, but I have to admit I kind of agree with parallax7d. I'm not sure glorifying the bushido blood-and-honor tradition is how artists should be using their talents. But artists, as always, do what appeals to them.
posted by languagehat at 5:09 AM on December 6, 2005

Not sure I get it - is it idiomatic?
I just know the word as meaning something like 'easily,' and asari is a type of clam, so... care to help me improve my skills?
(Upon looking at a dictionary, I find 'assarishita' - simple, easy, openhearted, maybe that's it.)
posted by bashos_frog at 5:39 AM on December 6, 2005

I'm with Haruspex: "I love the way the girl's hair slips and falls around her shoulders." The same detail stuck in my mind as well. It was particularly evident when she first entered the building and her hair gently swirled over her shoulder and down in front. Seemed like such a subtle detail for an "animated" (I guess we're not all in agreement on this?) short.

On another note, whereas I wonder if parallax7d and languagehat might not be on target, I have to admit that the short doesn't really seem to be "glorifying the bushido blood-and-honor tradition" but using the tradition almost as a cliche or common point of reference to tell a more imaginative, more beautiful story. It's this tenderness that remains with me once the story is complete. And, in a world where we're constantly inundated with violence and senseless butchery, perhaps it's helpful to be reminded of the poignant.
posted by geoflaneur at 7:41 AM on December 6, 2005

Ditto here on the girl's hair as she entered the shrine. That was the moment when I went from thinking "this is beautiful" to thinking "oh, my".

Doomo arigato, boo_radleysan!
posted by darkstar at 8:51 AM on December 6, 2005

Good stuff. My eyes are damp. Thanks for the post.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:35 AM on December 6, 2005

Just got a note from the director of the short regarding the technique:
to answer to some of your questions about tools, backgrounds are 100% watercolor, and animation was traditionally hand-drawn and then Frank Millet has inked every single rough drawing with brush… we just used computer for compositing…
There you have it.
posted by Robot Johnny at 7:32 AM on December 7, 2005

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